Why did Jose Mourinho pinch Barcelona assistant coach's ear?
Jose Mourinho has been caught pinching Barca assistant coach Tito Vilanova's ear as the Spanish Super cup clash descended in chaos.
In a bizarre episode, the Real Madrid manager marched over to Barca coach Tito Vilanova during last night's ill-tempered Supercopa clash at Camp Nou and appeared to tug his ear.
A clearly angry Vilanova responded by pushing Mourinho, who walked away grinning.
The odd gesture has led to speculation on the internet about why the 'Special One' indulged in such unsportsmanlike behaviour.
Some claimed he was taunting him or even attempting to poke the assistant manager in the eye.
Others suggested his tweak of Vilanova's ear was reminiscent of discipline meted out to unruly schoolchildren. An ear pinch while extremely painful rarely does physical damage to a child.
Another, kinder explanation was that he was attempting to calm the opposition coach down by pinching his ear using a 2,000-year-old, traditional Chinese massage technique that can help release tension and reduce anxiety.
Part of a branch of Chinese medicine called Qi Gong, meaning “energy work”, it involves using the thumb and index finger to gently rub the ears until they are warm then pinching them to release endorphins, which act as a natural pain relief and promote a feeling of calm.